It is easy to get going at the beginning of a workout program – you are pumped up, psyched to get going, and have the new gear to prove it. You join the gym, make the commitment and get going. This time is going to be different from all of the other times that you started a program.
So how do you keep focused on the prize when it feels so far away?
# Don’t look so far Ahead
You want to lose 20 pounds – it is a great, doable goal, and you know that by dropping twenty pounds that you will feel great, you will look great, and you will finally feel back to your old self. But twenty pounds feels impossible when you can barely walk after your 20 minute walk on the treadmill last night.
Don’t think of your end goal each and every time you step out to get some exercise. Instead, think of each day as another opportunity to make a change in the way things were, and to propel yourself forward to where you want to be. If you are sore from the workout before, walk a bit more today, and don’t be afraid to take a hot shower to loosen things up.
Change is hard, but not impossible. Don’t focus on the 20 pounds – instead focus on losing the first five pounds, and celebrate when you lose them.
# Don’t get stuck in your routine
With any type of routine, it can get old fast. Give yourself permission to try new things to keep the weight loss on track. Have you always wanted to try boxing but never thought you could? This would be a great time to try a boxing class – trying something new can also distract you from how hard you are working, and by doing that, you may even burn more calories than you thought possible.
If you are sick of lifting weights every Thursday night, stop lifting weights every Thursday night. Do not be afraid of breaking from your routine – if you are feeling like you are in a rut, your body probably is too, so take a break and find something else to do.
# “I am just so tired”
Exercising can be exhausting – if you notice that over time you are still tired, it may be time to take a look at your diet. Many people make the mistake of cutting calories too sharply and then adding in an intense workout on top of that. If the body is working out, it still needs nutrition to burn – a body with nothing to burn quickly runs out of energy.
If you finding that fatigue is negatively impacting your workout program, try adding a protein shake before your workout. Protein is a building block for muscle and energy, and if you give your body a boost before you head to the gym you may have more energy to devote to your workout program.
# “I can’t find the time to workout”
Any guy that works as hard as most of us do has time to work out; the workout has just not been made a priority in the day. We all schedule things into our day with ease – meetings, dinner dates, and important appointments all are put into the calendar. So what is the excuse for not treating the workouts as an important meeting?
As soon as we make our workouts as important as a meeting, all of a sudden things are scheduled around the workouts, instead of trying to plan a workout around everything else that happens during the day.
Keep the focus on what you want to achieve; you set workout goals for a reason. Keep that reason in mind and make your workout a priority each week.
# Why Keep Going?
One of the biggest reasons that guys stop going to the gym is because there is no visible change in our body even after working out. Even the scale may stay in the exact same place for a few weeks, even when your diet has improved, and when you spend more and more time on the treadmill, nothing seems to be changing.
The best way to notice change is to have someone help you to take baseline measurements when you first start the program. If you didn’t do that at the beginning of your workout cycle, do it now. Sometimes the body is changing in ways that we may not be able to see because they are so gradual. Get measurements of your chest, bicep, waist and legs. Get a baseline weight.
Then put the measurements away for a few weeks, and keep on track.